Camp Dogwood Activities
Our entire program is designed to reflect the three components of the Camp Dogwood Mission: The Dog - The Bond – The Community.
TRAINING SESSIONS emphasize positive reinforcement and fun for you and your dog(s).
LECTURES & DEMONSTRATIONS center on enriching the time we have with our 4-legged friends.
CAMP SCHEDULES are carefully designed to offer you and your dog(s) plenty of choices for each activity period, while also considering time for rest and relaxation. Customize your day with the activities you would like to attend - OR - “do your own thing” and take advantage of the many on-site trails, open fields, beautiful beachfront, nearby state parks and attractions, or just take a nap! Camp is a perfect learning environment, so beginning level activities are always available.
Note: Activities WILL vary by session
Presentations & Activities
Activity schedules change at every session we host. Below are some of the presentations and non-sport activities that have been hosted at previous camp sessions. Many are presented at every camp, but not all are scheduled at every session. And like our schedules, we try to keep up-to-date with dog trends, what’s new or hot, and sample new classes at every camp!
Ask the Vet
Building Confidence in Your Shy Dog
This class will cover why some dogs are shy, nature (genetics) vs. nurture (early socialization). Canine body language (what does a shy dog look like) will be reviewed. Strategies for helping a shy dog will be provided – examples are how to change your dog’s feelings about “scary” things, teaching skills to build confidence, and alternative remedies like body wraps, DAP, and rescue remedy.
Build Your Own Agility Jump
Campfires & Smores
Canine Anatomy 101: Getting to Know Your Dog Inside & Out
Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Prep / Test
Canine Rescue Breathing & CPR (*NOT a CPR Certification)
Coaching A Reactive Dog to Success at Camp
Companion Animals as Spiritual Guides
Connecting With Your Dog Thru A Happy Heart
Crystals and Gemstones: A Different Kind of Bling Dog Massage
Crystals are wonderful, vibrational gifts that are formed naturally within mother earth. Using crystals in our healing work with our Animal Companions enables us to initiate powerful shifts and incredible changes in them on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. In this class, learn about these amazing gifts from earth.
Dog Health & Wellness Presentations (assorted)
Essential Oils: Mother Nature's 'Farm'acy
How to Take Great Photos of Your Dog
My Polite Pup: Polite Walking, Greeting & Waiting Techniques
Paint Your Pet Night
Rally Skills: Improving Your Skill
Red Light / Green Light: Developing Your Dog’s Impulse Control
Seasonal Changes & Animal Issues
Shaping Complex Behaviors
Teaching Your Dog To Target
Treatmaking for Dogs
These cooking classes always result in some delicious treats for everyone to enjoy and recipes to take home and enjoy again and again. Campers are provided cookbooks featuring some of the treat recipes demonstrated in class. This is a great way to take some of the processed ingredients found in store-bought treats out of your dog’s diet.
“You Say What?” Reading Your Dog’s Body Language
Agility is a course with different obstacles including jumps, tunnels, a dog walk, a see-saw or teeter, an A-frame and weave poles. Dog and handlers have work together to run through the course. Dogs jump, climb, tunnel and weave. Agility enhances the bond you share and provides exercise for both.
AGILITY LEVELS & QUALIFICATIONS
Levels are based on the member of the team (human or dog) that is LEAST skilled):
- Level 1: New – Never been on agility equipment before; or very limited experience; or extreme flight risk; or scared of multiple obstacles. (Lack of weave pole/teeter proficiency not included) Focus on equipment and lead hands and exercises for focus, attention and handling skills.
- Level 2: Some experience on all of the equipment (at low or moderate height). Sequencing short sequences. Has only done agility at camp, attended at least one camp previously, and/or has some agility training outside of class. Introduction to crosses (front & rear).
- Level 3: Comfortable on all equipment at full height (teeter excluded, & weaves poles mostly straight up but can be open). Sequences up to 10 obstacles. Working knowledge of crosses (front & rear). Regularly trains in agility or has successfully completed many camps/agility training with this dog. Review/improve crosses (front & rear).
- Level 4: Competition or equivalent. Works all equipment full height, teeter & weaves included. Sequences 16+ obstacles. Regularly trains in agility.
In this class, your dog will be introduced to the sight and smell of the rats. You learn the basics of the sport of Barn Hunt. Any breed/size/age of dog can participate. Rat safety is always considered. The rat tubes used in training are dog proof, and if they are in another enclosure, we keep them well protected from the dogs. Rats are not harmed during Barn Hunt.
Canine Core Conditioning
In this class, you will learn how to safely exercise your dog to improve core strength, coordination, flexibility, balance, and proprioception. These exercises are important for conditioning your dog for various dog sports, preventing injuries and aging gracefully. These exercises are also great for building your dog’s confidence
You will get plenty of time to try various pieces of equipment such as: cavaletti poles; exercise ball, egg, and peanut; wobble board; rocker board; and tilt board. Bring lots of small treats and get ready to have some fun with your do.
Dog Friendly Yoga
If your dog loves to run, jump, and tennis balls… then Flyball is for you and them. In this sport dogs jump hurdles on a course leading to the automatic and spring loaded box which launches a tennis ball when reached. The dog then reverses the course with ball in mouth jumping the hurdles back to their person.
Easy to learn, a skill to master.
- Beginner: No experience or learning basics.
- Intermediate: Must have any experience in flyball..Can include sessions at camp.
Herding takes place off-site and has a cost for participating of $30 per dog tested. There will be a herding demonstration, herding clinic, and the opportunity to have your dog tested for herding instinct. Remember to bring water and treats for both you and your dog.
Herding is an incredible sight to see, and many campers jump at the opportunity to expose their dogs to this activity. There may be a restriction on which breeds may participate in Herding, as determined by our Herding instructor and the temperament of their flock.
Inspired by working detection dogs, Nose Work is the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy to learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise. This workshop will introduce you and your pooch from the beginning to Nose Work.
This workshop is for dogs who have been introduced to nose work and are working more complex hides. Dog can still be on food or on odor.
Either your dog will “get it” and will go crazy for this organized version of running, or they won’t and you’ll wonder what all the other dogs are bonkers for! Essentially this sport has your dog chasing a lure around a field as it is being pulled along on a line. It uses essentially the same principal that horse-tracks use for the chase.
For the safety and well-being of the dog, the lure can be run at many levels…depending on experience, age and conditioning. Please let the operator know your dog’s health so speed & appropriate suggestions can be made.
Dogs should be hungry when learning how to track! This is a perfect low-impact activity that you can enjoy with your dog without a lot of running around.
Trick Training: Do More With Your Dog
Tricks are a great way to keep your dog busy, mentally stimulated and have a lot of fun. You will learn to use various methods of training to teach your dog some fun new tricks including: play dead, bow, weave through your legs, do the moon walk, and push a baby carriage. If your dog already knows some of these you will learn how to teach more complicated versions of each of these tricks. Many are great for therapy dogs or dogs that just like to show off!
Weight pull is akin to a human tractor pull. The dogs wear a special padded harness and are attached to a wheeled cart on an earthen surface or a sled on snow. The goal is to see how much weight the dog can pull on the cart/sled for a distance of 16 feet.
In competition, the handler can have no physical contact with the dog during the pull, and they are not allowed to “bait” the dogs at the end of the pull with anything other than themselves. It is up to the dog’s willingness to pull the weight to close the distance between him/herself and their handler!
Art & Crafts (Pet Projects)
No summer camp experience would be complete without Arts & Crafts. At dog camp, we call them Pet Projects and do our best to continually add new activities to our schedule. Below you will see the types of projects we’ve offered in the past…however, the line-up for YOUR camp session may vary.
Bucket / Planter Decoration
Camp Dogwood is a great place to use that creative spark you know you have! Decorate a planter or toy bucket (or any smooth-surfaced item you decided to bring to camp). We have vinyl in plenty of colors and cut shapes and plenty of decorative embellishments you can adorn your masterpiece with, too. There are a number of items available for camper use to decorate, but they’re all on a first-come, first-served basis. We ask campers to select only one to begin with. Enjoy!
Create A Luminary
On Sunday night, we’re having a beachside campfire with a Pinecone ceremony… which is a kind of dedication to a memory or dog or anything you’d like to present. We’re going to try and line the walk down to the beach with “Luminaries”… which are essentiallty candle-lit decorative memories or dedications. Please take the time to create your own Luminary (or multiple ones) and turn in to the Canteen. This should be a beautiful evening event!
Our ancestors did not do craft projects with their dogs, but they definitely knew how to trace each other’s heads. Come make either a traditional black and white Dog Silhouette, or put some color into a snazzier, modernized and blinged-up version. (Bring an images of your dog to this session.)
Dog Treats Apron Decorating
Camper-hosted by Margaret Rapp, we added a training-treat apron decorating craft. If you are interested, bring the treat apron you were given at check-in and your creativity Also feel free to bring any decorating embellishments you have and want to incorporate). We might even have a ‘Bedazzler” available to bedazzle everyone (and your treat apron).
No-Sew Fleece Crate Mat
Campers are crafty. Very crafty. So much that we’ve kept our after-dinner craft-project instruction with Lisa Hiller, long-time camper. This project is a No-Sew Fleece Crate Mat. If you think you’d like to attend, please BYOF (Bring Your Own Fleece)…or come enjoy this crafty hour and learn it for later.
Make A Hanging Wind Chime
Make a tribute to your furry friend, or just a nice piece to hang in the yard. You should be able to find a few examples hanging around camp if you need some inspiration!
Many campers are interested seeing a schedule before arriving at camp. Below are an assortment of past schedules to help give a better idea of how camp days are structured. The basic formats shown are indicative of how most camp sessions flow, with the exception of specifics (classes, times, staff, etc.). These schedules are EXAMPLES - schedules will vary at every session - and, we reserve the right to make changes or additions directly prior to each session.